Populist Party.

Essay by espnzoneHigh School, 11th grade October 2005

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After the Civil War, when the economy began to suffer and there was over production of farm goods, the farmers and others such as green backers and old knights of labor became involved in the Populist Party in the 1890's. Before this Oliver Kelley had started the Grange which gave families a place to picnic and relax. Soon this began to grow into a more political party and in 1890 the Ocala demands were made and became their party platform. The Populist Party demanded many things including inflation through free silver, government control of railroads, and failure to curb monopolies. The idea to achieve free silver is the most important of the three because with inflation more could be possible, or the other problems would be solved. Government control of railways was less important because it had little effect on anything else, and monopolies had the least effect because they didn't affect the farmers on a regular basis.

After the gold rush of '49 it had been more profitable for silver miners to sell outside the government at market value. When the government realized that then they passed the Coinage Act (Crime of '73) which eliminated silver for coinage. When the miners did want to sell to the government they were unable to. Later with the Bland-Allison Act Congress said the need to purchase 2 million to 4 million in silver every year. This brought no inflation because Congress only bought the minimum and didn't even coin the money. Soon after the Congress passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, that allowed for the government to purchase 4.5 mil oz. of silver. However the silver also never made it to circulation. The election of 1896 showed how important inflation of silver had become. There had been a split in the...